The imminent arrival of South African, Kenyan and Nepalese troops along with Tanzanians already on the ground will boost MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in ongoing efforts to curtail ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a senior UN representative in the central African country said.
Earlier this month the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said a quick reaction force (QRF), drawn from an infantry formation battalion, was completing mission ready training ahead of the continental deployment.
“The arrival of new additions to join the FIB signify a new turn in the hunt down of ADF,” Khassim Diagne, the UN Secretary General’s deputy special representative in DRC, said during a visit to Bunia in Ituri province.
Diagne, also MONUSCO deputy head, told soldiers and civilians: “There is a plan for deploying the FIB. Nepalese, South African and Kenyan troops are expected soon and Tanzanian troops are already there. With all this military support, not to mention civilians I believe we shall defeat this enemy”.
Irumu territory in Ituri, in addition to being plagued by foreign ADF and FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) is also on the receiving end of unwanted attention from local armed groups including Codeco, Fpic and Maï-Maï.
Speaking in Tchabi where he met the new MONUSCO force commander General Marcos da Costa, Diagne indicated an operational plan would “be crafted” to support FARDC (DRC Armed Forces).
“MONUSCO is working hand in hand and with determination with authorities to help the DRC out of this problem,” MONUSCO reports him as saying, acknowledging the UN mission and Congolese military “face a constantly moving mobile enemy”.
Since mid-June fighting has pitted the army against Codeco rebels in Fataki-centre in Djugu territory resulting in massive population displacement with some seeking refuge at the Djaiba MONUSCO military base.
In addition to daily patrols by peacekeepers in support of FARDC, information shared with the army and multi-faceted logistic support provided, Diagne sees reinforcing the peacekeeping presence in Tchabi as helping to better fight armed groups in the region.